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Mortgage & Housing Market News from HSH.com

Watt: I’ll delay hikes in conforming loan fees

December 23rd, 2013 | Leave a Comment | Posted in News by Keith Gumbinger

Incoming head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency  Mel Watt may keep a slated increase in borrowing costs from hitting conforming loan borrowers for at least a while longer.

Increases in the loan-guarantee fees charged to lenders (aka “G-fees”) — a kind of insurance that the payments on the loan will be made — were slated to increase starting in March, and risk-based pricing elements (called Loan Level Pricing Adjustments) to compensate for low credit scores and/or low down payments  by borrowers were scheduled to rise sharply for loans delivered to Fannie or Freddie on or after April 1.

As it can take 60 days or longer to get a loan closed these days — and with changes to required documentation and more expected to gum up the works in the early part of the year — these fees would probably have started to be seen in mortgage pricing in just a few weeks’ time.

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8: A home improvement loan with no home equity?

December 23rd, 2013 | 1 Comment | Posted in News by Tim Manni

iStock_Blue PrintsNumber eight on our top-10 list for 2013 is “A home improvement loan with no home equity?” This article is yet another “oldie but goodie.” When it was written in 2010, homeowners across the U.S. were dealing with a home-equity crisis. The downturn in home prices had stripped out thousands of dollars in home equity, even to a point where many homeowners had negative equity.

Home equity is a very important thing for homeowners. Home equity allows you to leverage the money you’ve paid into your home towards a loan that could allow you to pay for any number of things—from home improvement projects to a college education.

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9: Prepaid items vs. closing costs—what’s the difference?

December 20th, 2013 | Leave a Comment | Posted in News by Tim Manni

prepaids-closings 8.17v1Number nine on our list of the top-10 articles for 2013 — Prepaid items vs. closing costs—what’s the difference? –   is a practical, back-to-basics article on deciphering all the different items you must pay at the closing table. Like number 10, this article was written a few years ago.

One of the goals of HSH.com is to create content to help educate our visitors. Too often, consumers enter the mortgage process without a proper understanding of all the ins and outs. Granted, the mortgage process is a confusing one with a lot of moving parts; but that’s where we come in.

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10: Buying a new home when you haven’t sold the old one

December 19th, 2013 | 2 Comments | Posted in News by Tim Manni

int rate lockTowards the end of each year, HSH.com features the 10 most popular pieces of content from that year. Just like the last few years before it, 2013 has been an interesting time for the mortgage and real estate markets. Mortgage rates fell to near-historic lows in 2013 and then subsequently rose over a percentage point above those yearly-low levels.

This year, we’ve seen changes to Fannie and Freddie, the refinance wave has crested and broke and the Federal Reserve has just announced the beginning of the end of its long-term plan to keep interest rates low.

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HUD says the FHA is back on track

December 17th, 2013 | 1 Comment | Posted in News by Marcie Geffner

4-FHA-logoHomebuyers who need affordable mortgages that permit a low down payment and flexible guidelines often choose FHA loans, insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

The popularity of FHA loans has brought renewed scrutiny in recent years to the health of the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, which backs those loans.

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It’s time for a taper

December 16th, 2013 | Leave a Comment | Posted in News by Tim Manni

3-Federal-ReserveLooking over the weekly reports that influence mortgage rates, last week was rather light in terms of economic data that would push mortgage rates in either direction. Instead, much of the focus is on the Federal Reserve meeting this week and whether it decides to taper its purchases of mortgage-backed securities and Treasury bonds.

“For the most part, interest rates remained firm and mortgage rates continue to hold near two-month highs,” wrote Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com and author of the weekly Market Trends newsletter. Read the rest of this entry »

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Conforming loans just got more expensive

December 11th, 2013 | Leave a Comment | Posted in News by Tim Manni

Rising ratesAnother measure will soon go into effect to simplify and shrink Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s presence and influence in the nation’s mortgage market.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced on Monday that Fannie and Freddie will change their guarantee fees, or g-fees, in three areas: Read the rest of this entry »

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Foreclosures drop in every state

December 10th, 2013 | Leave a Comment | Posted in News by Marcie Geffner

Foreclosure for SaleHome buyers who want to purchase a bank foreclosure likely will find fewer such properties on the market in 2014.

That prediction is based on new data recently released by CoreLogic, a property information, analytics and services company in Irvine, Calif.

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The positive economy means two things

December 9th, 2013 | Leave a Comment | Posted in News by Tim Manni

Federal Reserve BuildingCould it be that we escaped from the government shutdown not only unscathed but better than we were before? “Indications are starting to accumulate that not only was the economy not seriously disrupted by the October government shutdown, but that it wallowed though that mire comfortably and perhaps has begun to accelerate,” wrote Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com and author of the weekly Market Trends newsletter.

The positive economy means two things: Read the rest of this entry »

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Older homeowners are more safe and secure

December 3rd, 2013 | Leave a Comment | Posted in News by Marcie Geffner

Reverse Mort ParentsA new report has found that older Americans who own homes are more financially secure and less likely to experience limitations in the home than their counterparts who rent housing.

The report, “A Profile of Housing and Health among Older Americans,” examined the housing, functional abilities and health status of two groups of individuals: Read the rest of this entry »

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About the HSH Blog

HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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